Source: (2002) Aboriginal Peoples Collection. Aboriginal Corrections Unit. Ottawa: Solicitor General Canada.

The authors of this report observe that, with the advent of Europeans in North America, Canadian Aboriginal communities experienced continuing and debilitating shocks and traumas that left whole nations of people reeling and broken. The eventual impact was to generate a wide range of dysfunctional and hurtful behaviors (such as physical and sexual abuse) which were repeated generation after generation within those communities. Since the early 1980s, an increasing number of Aboriginal communities have been struggling with the challenge of healing individuals and communities, with programs aimed at many problems, including addictions, sexual abuse, family violence, depression, and suicide. This report resulted from an initiative of the Aboriginal Corrections Policy Unit of Solicitor General Canada and the Research Office of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, through a contract with Four Directions International. The purpose of the research project was to identify and "map" the experience of various Aboriginal communities with healing processes and programs. Specifically, the researchers looked at the whole question of personal, family, and community healing as it relates to the cultural, economic, political, and social renewal of Aboriginal communities - the aim being to stimulate Aboriginal communities with a greater repertoire of models and ideas. The report contains the following: a review of relevant literature; community profiles; personal perspectives from the communities; lessons about healing, including aids and obstacles; healing and rebuilding of the nations; and recommendations for communities, supporters, and funders.

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